What's hot: Red snapper has been the primary offshore target, and it could not get much easier. These fish are stacked as high as 100 feet off of the bottom. Because of that abundance, anglers can use a number of techniques to catch them.
Tactics: Red snapper have ferocious appetites and usually devour any live or frozen bait. During a feed, larger and more dominant snapper will move up in the water column. To target these fish, use a knocker rig, which consists of a smaller egg lead (usually about a quarter- to half-ounce) placed on the main line right above the hook. The smaller lead will present the bait in such a way that it looks like a stunned baitfish sinking to the bottom and therefore an easy target. You can also use a standard fish finder rig, with a sliding lead on the main line, then a swivel connected to a leader and finished off with the hook. Drop this rig baited with a sardine, then reel up 20-30 feet of line and wait for the hit.
Steve Papen charters out of Indian Shores and can be reached at (727) 642-3411 and fintasticinc.com.